The Caribbean Premier league (CPL) have announced a new initiative for the 2015 edition geared towards providing an opportunity for the best U-19 cricketers from the Caribbean and developing players from the International Cricket Council (ICC) Associate Members in the Americas region to make the final squad of one of the six franchises taking part in the tournament.
One player from the ICC Associate Members in the Americas region will be assigned to each of the franchises and invited to the training camps being held ahead of the tournament. The young cricketers will join four U-19 West Indies players who will also be assigned to each of the franchises and attend the training camps.
Last year the U-19 West Indies players attended the camps but were not eligible to make the final team squads and take part in matches during the league. This will change in 2015 as one of the five young players will make the final squad and be available to play in the tournament proper.
Commenting on the initiative CPL Cricket Operations Director Michael Hall said; This provides an excellent opportunity for a young player to get a taste of life as a professional cricketer – the travel, the daily practice sessions and the intensity of the actual competition. We took the decision based on feedback from the coaches who were involved last year, they all felt that there was enough talent at the U-19 level to warrant creating an additional roster spot for one of them.
ICC Americas Regional Development Manager, Ben Kavenagh welcomed the opportunity being afforded to the cricketers from the Americas. He said; We have selected a squad of 12 players to take part in an ICC Americas Talent Development Camp in Barbados from December 14th to 21st, which will be staged in conjunction with the WICB High Performance Centre and Barbados Cricket Association. The squad has been selected from the best U17’s from our August Match Play Camp, the best U-19s from our team in the WICB U-19 event in Guyana and some U-23 players who are currently playing in senior national teams.
Six players will be selected following the Talent Development Camp, and will be assigned to a CPL Franchise where they will join their West Indies U-19 counterparts who as was the case last year, will be selected by their local territorial boards. Each franchise will then select one player to be a part of its final squad. Final CPL squad rosters for the 2015 season will be increased from 15 to 16.